Shame on these so called Sikhs of Baba Nanak

Jagtar Singh

Chandigarh, May 16: These shameless self-styled champions of the Sikh religion seem to have forsaken Guru Nanak, the founder of this Faith. Perhaps they never understood his doctrine as embodied in Guru Granth Sahib.

Logic, discussion and debates are the basics to the this most progressive Faith in the world but a section of these Sikhs have turned obscurantist and dogmatic, the concepts that go against the very fundamentals of the Sikh philosophy.

Shameful perhaps is a soft word to describe repeated clashes in the gurdwaras on foreign lands. The latest in the series has been reported from Frankfurt in Germany. The scene of ‘action’ was the Sikh Centre Gurudwara where a section of the defenders of the faith turned violent to prevent a preacher who had been invited by the management. The preacher is well-known Panth Preet Singh. The German police entered the gurdwara to separate the warring factions. Turbans of some Sikhs were tossed in the process. Can the Sikhs object to the security people at the airports asking them to untie turbans? Not after they are seen themselves tossing the turbans of each other and that too in a gurdwara. Women and children shrieked in horror.

These champions of the faith just could not object to the German police entering the shrine with shoes on. This happens when you lose the moral force. The Sikhs in the Frankfurt gurdwara made a mockery of themselves. Going by the videos on the social media, most of them seem to be semi-literate.

Guru Nanak travelled for 17 years to all corners of the world to interact  with people of different faiths. That was the learning process. He would enter into dialogue with people wherever he went. He travelled upto Mecca on one side and Dhaka on the other. His Sikhs has no patience. But then they are not the Sikhs of Guru Nanak. They have abandoned him.

There are two extremes. One extreme is represented by these obscurantists and on the other are people like former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. Islam is witnessing the worst. Punjab too passed through that phase when the so called freedom-fighters fighting for nobody known what tried to dictate life style of the Punjabis during militancy. That was the foretaste of what the Khalistan would be. The remnants of that era are now denigrating the Sikhs at the global level. They call themselves Taksalis and that can only be interpreted as those associated with the Damdami Taksal, the body that was headed by Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale but remains in news for all the wrong reasons.

The one reason for this disgusting state of affairs is perhaps the weakening of the moral authority of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee over the years. It is this body that is supposed to be custodian of the Sikh code of conduct (maryada) that was evolved after years of discussion and debate by a representative committee. Earlier, the Sikhs would look up to the SGPC for guidance. Now they settle their scores violently on the premises of the gurdwaras, especially abroad. This phase started after the youth from Punjab started taking shelter in these countries during militancy.

It is time for introspection for the community. But then it is only a section that is confined to gurdwara politics. Gurdwaras have functioned as  community places rather just being shrines, especially in the countries overseas. Even those who are not devout (or obscurantists) Sikhs too participate in community functions. Sikh religion is a collective where sharing is basic.

Violence and clashes in gurdwaras amount to abandoning Guru Nanak.

Those who have indulged in such anti-Guru Nanak activities in Frankfurt gurdwara must publicly apologise.

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